Spruce Up Floral Arrangements

Make formal floral arrangements even better with greenery from your yard or houseplants.
Formal Flower Arrangement

Formal Flower Arrangement

Gardening pro Jessie Mack Burns offers suggestions for sprucing up purchased floral arrangements with greenery from your yard or houseplants. Create these beautiful arrangements for Mother's Day or any other special occasion.

Roses and Greenery

Sometimes fresh-cut flowers can look "lost" in a large vase. Cuttings from household and backyard plants can help fill in and beef up an arrangement. For our demonstration, for example, we started with asparagus fern to add filler and ivy leaves to soften the overall look of the arrangement. We used these in conjunction with a half-dozen fresh long-stemmed roses.

  • Strips of green florist tape can be used to create a grid at the top of your vase to help support and space out the long-stemmed flowers and other elements of your arrangement.

  • Strip away the excess leaves from the bottom of your rose stems. Using scissors, trim the bottom tips with the ends of the stems submerged in water to help prevent air from entering the capillaries of the stem. This will help the rose stems take up water more efficiently. Use caution to avoid getting stuck by the thorns. To help prevent bacterial growth, add a few drops of bleach to the water in your vase before adding any flowers.
  • Begin placing your rose stems in the grid, spacing them fairly evenly and uniformly.

  • Once all the roses are in place, fill in with long stems of asparagus fern. Strip the excess foliage from the bottom of the fern just as you did with the rose stems. Continue filling in the arrangement with strips of ivy. The extra greenery supports and accentuates the look of the roses while helping the color of the roses stand out.

Mixed Flower Arrangement

For our second floral arrangement, we started with a mixed bouquet like those typically found in a floral department of a supermarket. Once again, ordinary houseplants helped spruce up the arrangement.

  • Start with a block of floral foam as a base. Saturate the floral-foam block in water treated with preservative or a few drops of bleach. The bleach or preservative will help prevent the growth of bacteria and will keep the water and flowers fresh longer.

  • Cut the floral foam to fit the container you'll be using.

  • Place greenery such as Boston fern or asparagus fern into the foam as filler. You can also use the leaves of the peace-lily houseplant. Continue adding greenery as you begin adding in your flowers.

  • Arrange to your liking as you add the remainder of the cut flowers.

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